Dear Mayor Ed Lee and Chief Greg Suhr,
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Occupy San Francisco and the Occupy Movement across the country. We urge you to continue to stand with us by making a public commitment to not disband Occupy San Francisco and to not use force against peaceful protestors. We call on you to work with the Occupy movement to establish the living conditions and environment that we all desire.
We are outraged by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s decision to raid a peaceful, lawful and inspiring assembly. We denounce police intimidation, harassment and incarceration of peaceful protesters. We call on you to join us in our call to Mayor Quan and Police Chief Jordan to drop all the charges against these community leaders, to release them immediately, and to allow for the restoration of the encampment in Oscar Grant (a.k.a. Frank Ogawa) Plaza.
Today, the whole world is watching— not only Oakland, but also San Francisco. Around the world, people are looking to elected officials to stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement. Occupy San Francisco has been a public forum, on public land, about matters of dire urgency to the public: unemployment, affordable housing, taxation, bank accountability, and the unconscionable and deeply racialized inequity between the 1% and the rest of us.
These very same concerns are the heart of the work of dozens of community organizations, labor unions, and activists throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. A truly democratic government of the people must defend these commitments, regardless of the desperate pleas coming from the 1%.
A city government of the 99% should work proactively to support the encampment with resources like medical assistance, electricity, and bathrooms.
A city government of the 99% should open its doors to the encampment, come down to hear the concerns of the protesters, and defend our constitutional right to peaceful assembly.
A city government of the 99% should take inspiration from the encampment, and use its power to address the demands for taxing the rich, holding big banks accountable, job creation, affordable housing, healthcare, and so many rights our communities have been denied for too long. What San Francisco needs and wants is a city government of the 99%.
Not long ago, the world fretted that peaceful protestors in plazas across North Africa and the Middle East would be met with police batons and tear gas. Now is the time for San Francisco to stand by the freedom of speech. The whole world will be watching your actions. We call on you to stand with the 99%.
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Oscar Grant Committee
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